Look, Panther fans, we all know that Rashaan Gaulden is looking like the guy expected to start for us next season. Right now, he does not instill confidence in me. Who knows, he might have a breakout year for us in his sophomore season. The coaches even said he has been impressing them. Rivera might just play it safe, but there could be some potentially better players on the trade block right now.
Josh Jones S
Josh Jones best year was as a rookie in 2017. His stats are 67 tackles, 5 TFL, 2 QB hits, 5 Pass Deflections, 2 sacks, and 1 INT. Those are comparable to Kenny Vaccaro's, a pretty decent safety, stats in 2018: 58 tackles, 3 TFL, 4 QB hits, 4 Pass Deflections, 2 sacks, and 1 INT. His 2018 stats were 55 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB hit, 2 Pass Deflections, 1 sack, and 0 interceptions. Josh Jones is also young at 24, so he has many more years ahead of him. The only thing is that we might have to move Eric Reid to free safety as Josh Jones is better suited at strong safety. He has been known for being beat deep by receivers, but play well in the box.
The Packers might be in a situation to trade him because they signed strong safety Adrian Amos in free agency, and drafted Darnell Savage in April. There have also been whispers that he does not fit well with Mike Pettine's defense. This could be worth a shot; I would surrender maybe a 4th or 5th rounder for him at the most.
OR... Karl Joseph S
Karl Josephs best year was 2017 where he recorded 78 tackles 2 TFL, 1 QB hit, 4 Pass Deflections, 1 sack, and 1 INT. His 2018 stats were: 48 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QB hits, 2 Pass Deflections, 2 sacks, and 1 INT. The Panthers would be trading for a player in his prime at 25, so he might be a bit more money, especially due to the inflation of the market these days. However, I believe Hurney could find a way to fit him into our cap. Karl Joseph is also viewed as a strong safety on the Raiders, but Eric Reid would be able to slide to free safety if needed to.
The Raiders may be in a position to trade him because Gruden has shown a willingness to ship off some of their former 1st round picks, like Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. Also, Karl Joseph did not have as good a season as 2017. If the Panthers were to trade for him, I would probably throw a 4th and 7th rounder at Mike Mayock.
Ride with Rashaan
As I said earlier, Rashaan is pretty raw, but he also didn't have many opportunities to play. Perhaps with some more play time as a starter will help him develop. He has a great mentor in Eric Reid, and is coached by one of the best head coaches in the league right now in Ron Rivera. His stats currently are 17 tackles, 1 pass defended, and 2 TFL in 15 games with limited playing time.
However, he might be the reason we don't go to the Superbowl next season because of his lack of experience and the talent we have seen so far. I believe Rashaan Gaulden needs 1-2 more years to develop before he can become a starting-caliber safety in the National Football League. If y'all think we should sign a veteran, there are plenty of good options available.
Free Agent Options
Eric Berry is a 5-time Pro Bowler and 3-time 1st Team All-Pro at 30 years old. He could be considered one of the best safeties in the past decade. In his last injury-free season in 2016, he posted 77 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INT, 2 Pick sixes, 9 Pass Deflections, and 1 forced fumble. Another pro is that Eric Berry has known to be a great locker-room veteran presence. Eric Berry would fit the Keep Pounding mantra that we have, with his fight against cancer in 2015.
The 30-year-old is an amazing safety...when healthy. Eric Berry missed a combined 28 games over the past two seasons. He has battled and won against cancer, but the Achilles tear and others really kept him off the field. We don't know if we will get the Eric Berry of old. Also, his price tag will probably be high considering his past success.
Tre Boston is a young (26) and experienced safety, someone Rivera really needs to add to his secondary, specifically the free safety spot. He was very inconsistent throughout his first few years in Carolina, but has matured and his skill set is way better now. Tre has transformed into a ball hawk over his years in Los Angeles and Arizona. Oh yeah, we'll also have enough money following the release of Matt Kalil and Da'Norris Searcy after June 1st.
I can't really think of any cons.
So, who do y'all want? Jones, Joseph, Gaulden, Berry, or Boston? Who else could be a quality pickup. Comment below what you think.